Phillies Injuries Hit Rotation, Offense in Major Way
Things are going from bad to worse for the Phillies on the injury front. The injured list already had outfielders Jay Bruce and Roman Quinn, along with utility player Scott Kingery. The Phillies already had multiple games on the schedule that would need a starting pitcher. Then Zack Wheeler sustained a middle finger injury on his throwing hand and Spencer Howard was placed on the injured list Sunday. But there is now more.
Both catcher J.T. Realmuto and first baseman Rhys Hoskins were held out of game two of Sunday's doubleheader against the Marlins in Miami. Realmuto has a sore hip, while Hoskins a sore left forearm. Both will get an MRI Monday.
So now what?
The Phillies ran out of position players on their 40-man roster. They were so challenged that Neil Walker had to be designated for assignment so Ronald Torreyes could help out in center field if need be. But extra jarring is the absence of a catcher.
The Phillies decided to designate Deivy Grullon for assignment just under two weeks ago. He was the third catcher on the 40-man roster. Grullon could have been a position player available to the Phillies and helped in both places.
Grullon tied Alec Bohm for the organizational home run lead in 2019 in the minor leagues. While Grullon did not impress greatly in Spring Training and in Summer Camp, his bat remains promising. And besides backstop, Grullon spent time at the Alternate Training Site working out at first base. They could use him now.
The Phillies opted to cut Grullon over Victor Arano, who is off of the injured list but deemed unable to help the Phillies in his current state. Arano may have to lose his 40-man roster spot anyway now, depending on what else the Phillies need to add, while the Phillies could have held onto Grullon.
The Phillies opened a 40-man roster spot for Rafael Marchan, who is a promising young catcher, by moving Jose Alvarez to the 45-day injured list. Marchan has not played above Class A. Andrew Knapp caught both games of Sunday's doubleheader while Realmuto heals.
So far, the Phillies have not placed Realmuto on the injured list, holding out hope that the MRI will not be too telling.
The Phillies said on Friday that Jay Bruce should return this season. Should Hoskins miss time, expect Bruce to play some first base. That should be easier on his left quad compared to left field, where he aggravated his quad most recently.